Third Man Records promote new offerings for Vault subscribers, including that old Sub Pop single where The White Stripes covered Captain Beefheart

Third Man Records promote new offerings for Vault subscribers, including that old Sub Pop single where The White Stripes covered Captain Beefheart

It’s never long after a legend dies that the requisite tributes come pouring in. These homages are especially prompt given that the passing occurs at the end of the annum, when all attention is already on the first days (and releases) of the new year. On December 17, Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. music great Captain Beefheart, succumbed to multiple sclerosis. Jack White, either because of a preexisting love of the Captain (most likely), or because he realizes how similar they might look if he grew a mustache (doubtful), has announced that part of his Third Man Records’ 2011 First Quarter Vault package will be a 7-inch of The White Stripes covering Captain Beefheart. The three tracks — “Party of Special Things to Do”, “China Pig”, and “Ashtray Heart” — were originally recorded in 2001 as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club, and so it’s only fitting to reintroduce them in honor not only of Vliet, but of Andy Kotowicz, the executive at Sub Pop who was killed in a car accident this October.

The First Quarter package also includes a compilation of Third Man Records’ 2010 singles (a double album on 180 gram vinyl) and a 7-inch of The (with Jack White on guitar). Members of the Vault must go platinum by January 31 in order to receive the package, which will hopefully give Jack White enough time to throw a few covers of Teena Marie in the deal for good measure.

• Third Man Records:

RIP: Bobby Robinson, record producer, songwriter, Happy House owner

From the NY Daily News:

Bobby Robinson, whose tiny record shop on Harlem’s 125th St. spawned No. 1 national hits and made him an uptown patriarch for six decades, died yesterday.

He was 93 and had been ill for several years - though he regularly went to work at his shop until it was forced to close in January 2008.

Impeccably dressed, well-spoken and ambitious to make his mark in the entertainment business, Robinson opened Bobby’s Happy House in 1946.

His shop was the first black-owned business on 125th St., and within five years he used it to launch a series of record labels.

Sometimes working with his brother Danny, who also had an office on 125th St., Robinson recorded hundreds of artists from Gladys Knight and the Pips to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

• Bobby Robinson:

Oh, you’re so ambitious, Jens: Jens Lekman plans LP and EP for 2011

Ah, vaulting ambition. History and Literature are littered with cautionary tales of men who have tried to ascend to the stars on rocket ships fueled with their own reckless determination, only to forget that a star is a fiery-hot nuclear explosion that will straight-up kill you if you touch it. It happened to Icarus. t happened to Macbeth. It happened to Napoleon. Alas and alack, now it seems that melodramatic pop mastermind Jens Lekman is joining their ranks, as he fanatically attempts to release a new LP and a new EP in the same year.

In a message to fans posted on the singer/songrewriter’s website last week, Lekman goes totally off the rails, manically ranting not only about how his follow-up to 2007’s excellent Night Falls Over Kortedala (TMT Review) is coming along nicely, but also about a new EP in the works for 2011 as well. Oh, say it isn’t so, Jens!

“[The new record] has taken a long time because it started to take shape only a few months ago,” he raves. “Up until then it was a cluster of everything. As if you would have dug your hand down your pocket and just thrown the contents on the table — sort of like my three last albums and there’s nothing wrong with them but this one’s an Album. It’s been trying to tell me that the whole time.” In other words, he’s hearing voices. This is clear-cut evidence of his descent into madness.

As far as themes for the new album go, Lekman uses the word “aerodynamic” to describe the general vibe and says that he “set out to write about anything but myself and ended up writing only about myself and maybe 3-4 other people who really don’t serve any other purpose than to reflect myself. [The album has] been trying to tell me that a self portrait is not just a dialogue between you and yourself, but it’s also a dialogue with a third person — the beholder […] I have no idea where it will lead me eventually. But my plan is to get this and an EP out this year.” Okay, that solidifies it. Clearly, Lekman is an ego-centric megalomaniac and must be stopped. By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

• Jens Lekman:
• Secretly Canadian:

Adventure announces sophomore album for Carpark, is easier to Google than you’d think

In the last couple years, we’ve heard a lot about Baltimore. There are the givens, like John Waters’ tourist locations, The Wire, and a steady murder rate, but also Lower Dens, Wham City, Beach House, and a music scene gaining serious recognition. Back in 2008, Adventure (a.k.a. Benny Boeldt) emerged from the Wham City scene with a self-titled debut of Sega kitsch and frenzied beats. Two years is a long time to do nothing but tour and play antiquated consoles, and thus Carpark Records recently announced the forthcoming release of Adventure’s second full-length, The Lesser Known, out March 22.

Since the Baltimore Round Robins of old, bouncing along to a Donkey Kong dance party, Adventure has seemingly evolved from the quasi-chiptune style. The new album features real vocals (not Bladerunner clips) and New Wave-y synths. The songs are warmer, with distinctly human lyrics that, at times, are even emotional, with an almost chillwave vibe. It’s quite telling that to promote The Lesser Known, Boedlt has left behind his Dan Deacon and his B-more pals to a tour with Carpark compadre Toro Y Moi. Moreover, Adventure will play with a full band on the tour, yet to be finalized.

The Lesser Known tracklisting:

01. Open Door
02. Feels Like Heaven
03. Smoke and Mirrors
04. Fool’s Paradise
05. Rio
06. Lights Out
07. Relax the Mind
08. Another World
09. Electric Eel
10. Meadows

• Adventure:
• Carpark:

Release for documentary about Sufjan Stevens’ family finally on the horizon — sort of

We like Sufjan Stevens: his baby face, his ridiculous — now abandoned — state project, and the grandiose albums that have followed. But what do we really know about the man? December saw the official Swedish release of Beyond This Place, a very personal film about the emotional reunion of father-plus-son-plus-bikes, directed by Stevens’ longtime friend, Kaleo La Belle (who also commissioned Sufjan and Ray Raposa of Castanets to provide the score). With Beyond This Place beginning to make the rounds, Stevens and La Belle have been in film news for another movie, of more interest to those more inclined to music than dysfunctional family dramas. In 2006, these two things merged in the best way possible, when La Belle filmed an as-of-yet unreleased documentary about Sufjan and his (equally oddly named) brother, Marzuki, traveling to Michigan to see their estranged pop.

According to Pitchfork, after four years, Crooked River is finally being remastered and is on the lookout for distributors. Check out the trailer here, featuring footage of Sufjan dominating Pac-Man — already more talked about than the music he wrote for the project or anything else.

Crooked River: Facebook

Spring break! In February! Ducktails and Woods announce week-long tour

Spring break woooooooo! We all know spring break is a time to take a load off and get a little crazy, and who’s crazier than those nuts in Ducktails and Woods? Nobody, hence why they’re taking their spring break in the middle of winter — February to be exact. In what is sure to be the world’s haziest, most melodic beer bash, the two bands are playing a week-long string of dates in the Northeast. If partying with those crazy dudes wasn’t incentive enough, the two groups promise some collaborative moments, as well as an acoustic sampling of the follow-up LP to At Echo Lake (TMT Review). Also, tequila shots out of Jeremy Earl’s beard? Anything is possible!

Woods + Ducktails dates:

02.02.11 - Burlington, VT - Monkey House
02.03.11 - Portland, ME - Apohadion
02.04.11 - New York, NY - Monster Island Basement
02.07.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Chapel at First Unitarian Church
02.08.11 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West

Ducktails-only dates:

01.15.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Pi Lam
01.18.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Grasslands *

* Smith Westerns

• Ducktails:
• Woods:



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